Wednesday 3 February marked the official launch (online) of the Inclusive Insurance Shops programme, by Argentinian ICMIF member Río Uruguay Seguros (RUS) and Estacubierto that promotes social and labour inclusion through insurance.
The first stage of this initiative was the opening of commercial premises in the Buenos Aires neighbourhoods of Carlos Mugica and La Juanita, to be staffed by the inhabitants of these areas themselves, who have already been trained in insurance matters specifically for this purpose.
The opening of the premises were attended by Juan Carlos Lucio Godoy, Executive President of Río Uruguay Seguros; Belén Gómez, Coordinator of the U-RUS Corporate University and Institutional Management of the Board of Directors; Maximiliano Selva, partner of Varese Brokers SRL and Estacubierto; Tomás Galmarini, Undersecretary of Social and Economic Integration of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires; and Silvia Flores, President of the “La Juanita” Cooperative, who discussed how this project was conceived and the next steps which would be taken.
The branches will initially underwrite personal accident insurance with dental and medical assistance, life insurance and will also include bicycle theft insurance, health insurance and home insurance.
In relation to this project, Belén Gómez, Coordinator of U-RUS, explained that “not only are people trained in the products to be marketed, but also their technical skills are reinforced so that they can have a proper conversation with customers, know how to make a sale and understand what happens after the sale is made etc.”
The programme is intended to be extended throughout the country, democratising access to insurance for all segments of the population, on the basis that insurance “is a necessary instrument to protect assets and life in the face of unexpected events”, according to Gómez.
Juan Carlos Lucio Godoy, President of RUS, thanked the members of Estacubierto for participating in this project, as well as the Government of the City of Buenos Aires for understanding the value of insurance and committing to the cause.
“I am delighted that in the midst of a pandemic we are able to bring about structural socio-economic changes to solve historical problems and that today allow us to move towards greater social integration. It also makes us more aware of the widening inequality gap and that is why insurance was born to cover the needs and help the poorest in the world,” Godoy said.
He added that insurance is something that gives people the peace of mind that they can buy something that savings may not provide. “Sometimes people’s savings are not enough to cover an illness or problems such as burials or a fire in a house that may or may not be modest but is in proportion to the economic capacity of each inhabitant. These are the types of business ventures that insurance companies can create to solve the world’s problems and, in this case, Argentina’s because they are not only economic but also social actors”.
Tomás Galmarini, Undersecretary of Social and Economic Integration of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires, pointed out that this initiative would not have been possible without the work of the social leaders of the neighbourhood and the commitment of companies such as RUS and Estacubierto.
Galmarini also added that “this is not only a work of urbanisation but of social integration that we alone cannot complete without the support of the private sector, from companies like these that are provide the seeds of such a project and the first step for this to go ahead”.
Maxi Selva, partner of Varese Brokers SRL and Estacubierto, said: “If there is one thing that moves us, it is the desire of all our children to grow and move forward in life. When we started working with RUS we wanted something tangible, measurable and easily brought to places where the rest of the Argentinean insurance industry was not looking to enter, as well as generating a process of labour and social inclusion together with financial education.”
To conclude, Silvia Flores, president of the “La Juanita” Cooperative, stated that “this demonstrates that social integration is possible, that we are not the only ones wanting to build the country we dream of. This teaches us that involving all the parties concerned we can all do something to improve the quality of life of our communities”.